Jaw/TMJ Symptoms & Treatment

Jaw/TMJ Symptoms & Treatment With Dr. Alex Pham

People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw, which left untreated, can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth.
Diagnosing TMD

One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull and allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close and facilitates chewing and speaking.

People with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) often have a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Such disorders are often accompanied by frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity.

Diagnosing TMD

 There are many other conditions that can cause similar symptoms including a toothache, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease and your dentist will conduct a clinical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.

The first step is to see what is causing you pain and to find a treatment to alleviate your problem.  Dr. Pham is very familiar with the pains and symptoms associated with TMD and can give you a full evaluation to determine if you suffer from TMD and what your treatment options are.

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    Treating TMD
    Treating TMD

    One of the causes of TMD is malocclusion or the incorrect, unstable way your teeth bite together.  A stable bite is essential not only for esthetic reasons but also because maintaining a stable occlusion helps ensure that your upper and lower teeth will come into contact in the most comfortable and pain-free manner possible, without unnecessary force that could lead to headaches or fractured restorations.  Malocclusion can lead to problems such as wear, tooth mobility, and muscle pain.  To help you achieve a stable bite, Dr. Pham’s recommendations may range from simple adjustment of your bite to comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

    Another common TMD treatment method is the NTI-tss mouth guard to help relieve the pain associated with TMD.  The NTI-tss device is a Tension Suppression System that has been dubbed the most effective FDA-approved method of migraine prevention.  The device is simple, fast, effective and inexpensive.  Users typically experience better sleep immediately following the first night of use, and the pains associated with TMJ are greatly diminished shortly there afterward.  This is usually Dr. Pham’s first choice of treatment as it is very effective and non-invasive.

    More serious conditions involve improperly aligned joints or dislocated jaws. The most extreme form of TMD involves an arthritic condition of the jaw joint. Traumatic injuries also can cause jaw dislocation. In these cases, jaw surgery may be required to correct the condition. Some jaw surgeries can be performed arthroscopically.

    If you are suffering from TMD, having headaches or your TMJ is sore, contact our office today at 704-865-6856.


    Do you wake-up in the morning with jaw pain or sensitive teeth? If so, it could be the result of teeth grinding (bruxism) while you sleep. This affects millions of people, which, if left untreated, can lead to jaw problems, shorter teeth, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

    There are many reasons for night-time teeth grinding, including:

    • Stress or anxiety
    • Caffeine or drug abuse
    • Smoking
    • Misaligned bite

    If you are grinding your teeth,  Dr. Alex Pham may recommend a custom-made night guard.  Depending on your symptoms, these mouthguards could be either a full-arch or an NTI-tss night guard.  They fit comfortably over your teeth and deflect the hard forces generated when you grind at night.

    NTI-tss mouth guards are highly effective in treating TMD pain.  Dr. Pham can fabricate NTI-tss guard while you are in the office, so you can experience the relief from TMD pain as soon as the next day.

    For the full-arch mouthguard, we take an impression of your teeth and send it to our partner lab for creation. When ready, we finalize the fit so you can enjoy a comfortable treatment that yields great results.


    If you are suffering from TMD, having headaches or your TMJ is sore, contact our office today at 704-865-6856.